University of Dschang
Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences
Wood, Water and Environment Vocations Series
TEDONGMO Ismael During his professional internship at CARFAD in 2013, he conducted a study on Public Participation in the process of carrying out Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of Development Projects. This study focused on the case of the Edea – Kribi Highway construction project. Public participation is a fundamental issue in the management of the environment. Since the Rio Conference (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992), the principles of precaution, prevention, and polluter-payer were established alongside that of public participation, as the fundamental principles of good governance in the transformation of human habitats and the management of environmental challenges.
However, the process of implementation of these principles like that of public participation seems to be difficult in matters concerning land use planning and the environment. This is noticed in the lack of legal framework and tools defining the methods of carrying out consultations and public hearings, which are very important steps for all stakeholders involved in a project to participate so as to give their views, which will be taken into account in the final decision. Some projects are nowadays carried out without the participation of the public concerned. Yet each project promoter ought to ensure that participation is as open as possible by combining the views of all project stakeholders. The intervention of the public requires in particular, information on the project and the establishment of a genuine framework of dialogue throughout the stages of the decision.